Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tracking down chaps

Tried to order my friend Jeff Hardin's chapbook, Deep in the Shallows, to teach in my intro CW course this fall. They're sold out. I'm glad I have a copy, and that we got one for the Stadler Center's library. GreenTower Press did a fine job on this book (it's even hand-sewn) and I wish they could find the moolah to run a second printing.

Ended up ordering Jeff's second chap, The Slow Hill Out, though Pudding Press (which cranks out a helluva lot of chapbooks--too many, IMHO) says it will take "several weeks" to get them.

And another chap, Sophie Wadsworth's Letters from Siberia, is proving difficult to order in quantity (I only need fifteen copies): Comstock Review Press offers limited payment options, so I don't know yet if I'm gonna get this one.

Other presses make ordering a breeze: Kent State even provides me with desk copies when I ask for them. But really small presses, too, seem to manage their book orders well: Ander Monson's New Michigan Press (I'm teaching Michael Sowder's A Calendar of Crows again; it's a great "starter book" for my intro class), for example. And last year I ordered Betsy Sholl's wonderful Coastal Bop from Oyster River Press and had no problems; I'm using it again this year.

Hey, folks: take a good look at how the other guys are doing this. Poets want our books to sell with as little hassle as possible.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I was whining last night that everyone, everywhere, is prolly already on page 500 of the new Harry Potter book. Randy sighed, opened a cupboard and handed me mine--two weeks early, happy birthday, you nitwit.

Got to page 105 before falling asleep. Don't tell me!

Is it ego-surfing if someone else does it for you?

My friend Deirdre congratulated me the other day on my chapbook news. I was puzzled: hadn't really told but two or three folks. "I read it on your blog, dear." Oh: cool beans! People read this thing!

Which leads me to the topic of ego-surfing: I hardly do it. I hardly have to, b/c Randy is usually way ahead of me: "Hey, do you know so-and-so? She did a review of your book." "Hey, did you know Scott Hightower has you on his recommended list on Amazon?"

Sweet Randy. He's my people. He's an army of one.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Needle & off-white thread

Finished a quilt last weekend--very satisfying--and went directly from that one to the four-patch I pieced this past winter. I had stopped quilting on the four-patch around March to start the new quilt (it's a gift). Good to get back to it. I'm further along than I remembered. Rain expected every day this week (it's raining now); good to stay in and quilt and watch baseball on TV (go Red Sox!); I'm not getting much reading done at this point except for class preps, but will make an exception of course for the new Harry Potter book (all I really want for my birthday).

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Adjunct Love/Hate

Got a call yesterday from our Associate Dean, offering me an extra fall course. I said yes, automatically, immediately, because this was not the time nor place to negotiate or even discuss how this puts me up to full-time in terms of my work and time commitment, and how little I'll be paid. Not to mention my zero benefits.


I just heard about a full-time job in the social services sector, something I could easily imagine doing. Something I think I could be good at. But it's not teaching. And I love teaching, especially here at BU.

I'm not the only one, and I know it. I heard today that the department scrambled to grab four adjuncts. It used to happen in the Spanish dept every semester in Houston; I worked in the office there and made some of those "would you like to teach this section starting on Monday?" calls, and truly didn't get the level of frustration our adjuncts felt. I get it now. I get it. All I want to know is: how can we somehow move from exploitation to equity?